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2014 40 Under 40 Honoree: Brandi Bartel

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Brandi Bartel joined The Victim Center Inc. shortly after graduating from college. Ten years later, she runs the nonprofit organization focused on helping survivors of violent or sexual crimes.

In 2004, Bartel started as a project director for The Victim Center, which began as a grassroots organization in 1976 known as the Rape Crisis Center. More than three decades later, The Victim Center provides 24-hour, free crisis intervention to men, women and children.

It didn’t take long for Bartel to add income development to her resume before becoming assistant director in 2008.

“The bulk of my work … during the last five years has been focused on furthering the mission of the organization by raising funds and providing oversight to agency programs,” Bartel says. “I have also functioned as the face of the organization by developing collaborative relationships, serving on various community task forces and speaking about key issues affecting our community.”

After eight years with The Victim Center, Bartel became executive director in September 2012, taking over for a 14-year veteran.

“I worked hard to make the process as seamless as possible, and under my direction in 2013, the agency met or exceeded its fundraising, program and operational goals despite a difficult economy and various challenges along the way,” Bartel says.

Bartel manages a staff of 13, more than 60 volunteers and an annual budget of about $645,000. During the first 11 months of 2013, the nonprofit served more than 1,200 people in the adult program, roughly 900 people in the children’s program and some 15,000 in the prevention education program.

 “Because The Victim Center’s role is to provide hope and healing to crime victims in our community, it’s paramount … that I equip our staff, our board and our volunteers with the information and resources they need to meet the needs of crime victims,” Bartel says. “It’s extremely rewarding to go to work every day and know the work I do will ultimately lead to positive outcomes and individual victories for so many people in our community.”

During her first year as executive director, Bartel led four annual fundraisers to fuel the nonprofit’s free services, secured $685,000 in major grant funding and rolled out the inaugural Day of Hope fundraiser.

Bartel faced her biggest challenge when a staff member lost a fight with cancer.

“Leading a staff in the midst of this type of adversity required me to bring a unique, compassionate style of leadership sensitive to the complex emotions surrounding grief,” she says. “As a result, our staff is stronger than ever, united by the shared goal of bringing hope and healing to crime victims.”[[In-content Ad]]

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